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In a wonderfully short hearing on Thursday night, the Zoning Commission voted 5-0 to approve Forest City Washington's request for an amendment to the current Southeast Federal Center Zoning Overlay to allow the company to temporarily move its offices to the second floor of the historic Lumber Shed building at the Yards Park.
The company made the request because, while there has been "great interest" from potential retail tenants for the first floor of the building, the second floor has not as yet been as enticing, and filling the ground-floor spaces alone is not enough to get construction financing secured. Because Forest City is "anxious" to get the building started, their move to occupy the second floor can settle the financing issues and finalize deals with interested tenants, which means that construction on the 34,000-square-foot building could begin this year and be open by early 2013.
There had been some concerns at the setdown hearing back in April about the "temporary" request being for a period of 20 years, but Forest City's representatives emphasized (as they also did to the ANC in April) that their intent is to be in the Lumber Shed only until there is office space elsewhere in the Yards to which they can move. Alex Nyhan of Forest City explained that getting retail uses into the second floor is currently "challenging" because the building is "by itself" at the Yards (without much built out around it), which is exacerbated by the fact that it's a somewhat seasonal destination. But Forest City feels that once the other projects in the first phases of the Yards are built out, there will be a demand for the second floor, plus "the onus is on us" to make the Yards into a location where second-floor retail not only at the Lumber Shed but in other Yards buildings is attractive to tenants.
The discussion seemed to satisfy the zoning commissioners, and with the Office of Planning in support of the change and no voices in opposition, the unanimous vote came quickly.
Nyhan also gave the commission a quick update on the status of the other first-phase Yards projects, to help illustrate that "after many years of planning" things are starting to move:
* The Foundry Lofts 170-unit apartment building will begin pre-leasing in August, and will open in October;
* The Boilermaker Shops retail space has announced five restaurant tenants, and will begin construction this month, opening in Fall 2012;
* And 401 M Street, home to a planned Harris Teeter and 200ish-unit apartment building, is expected to start construction this fall.
If you want to give up 30 minutes of your time to check out the proceedings yourself, the hearing should be available for on-demand viewing sometime on Friday. My post from the ANC deliberations on the request also has more information.
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BillP says: (7/8/11 10:33 AM)
MORE GREAT NEWS! By early 2013, our neighborhood will have (or nearly have) the gorgeous, multi-million dollar Canal Park (perhaps with indoor/outdoor cafe), LRB2/coffee shop, 170 Foundry Lofts apartments with two restaurants, the Boilermaker Shops with five restaurants, a rebuilt Lumber Shed at Yards Park with more retail tenants, a Harris Teeter supermarket plus whatever else ends up in 401M (gym, more retail?) in addition to 225 apartments, and a completed Capital Quarter neighborhood.

Not to mention one less trash transfer station, one less smokestack, one less dilapidated deli and one less gigantic concrete bunker, replaced by 200k sf of fairly attractive office space.

So let's not dwell on empty holes on Half Street, random retail spaces not getting leased for a variety of reasons, etc. THIS is the momentum we've all been waiting/hoping/praying for!


MJM says: (7/8/11 12:49 PM)
BillP - last time I checked it out the deli was still there. Wonder if Akridge forgot about tearing it down?


JD says: (7/8/11 12:53 PM)
The raze permits were finally approved on June 16.


G Street says: (7/8/11 4:34 PM)
Wow - 3rd & 4th pix - You've got to LOVE architectural drawings. In my next life, I want to live in an architectural drawing!


jwa says: (7/8/11 10:01 PM)
Apologies if this has been covered somewhere else, but what's the story on the coffee shop next to canal park. It's been close to completion for quite a while but it looks like they've stopped work. I thought it was supposed to open around April or May??


JD says: (7/9/11 3:59 PM)
Commissioner David Garber--who has said he was working with the owner of the Little Red Building on the project--tweeted a few weeks back that there were building permit issues/delays. Haven't heard anything since then.



jwa says: (7/10/11 3:47 PM)
Thanks, JD.


jenniferp says: (7/11/11 3:47 PM)
The Market Deli apparently was razed today. The foreman of the project very kindly helped us catch five more very young kittens (well not me I wasn't there, but three are now in another one of my bathrooms). There are several more on the loose. The previous five are still in my guest bedroom waiting to go to a sanctuary in August (they were too old to really be adoptable unless someone wanted a project).

I haven't been able to find anything more specific on the Lumber Shed, but they are marketing for lease 11,500 SF of office space in the Boilermaker Shops on the second floor. I didn't know about this, I thought having that soaring space through the skylights would have made the retail spectacular. The asking rental rate of $33 NNN (about $50 full service) seems pretty steep.

The permitting process in DC can border on the ridiculous.



JD says: (7/11/11 3:49 PM)
Jennifer, it's a shame you didn't refresh the home page before posting this here. :-)


JD says: (7/11/11 3:54 PM)
Plus, are you sure it's the Boilermaker Shops where the office space lease is, and not the Lumber Shed?


JD says: (7/11/11 4:48 PM)
I think, judging from some drawings I've seen, ahem, recently, that that Boilermaker Shop office space is for a "third" floor, above the mezzanine/second level that is designed to take up about half the space of the building. You can see how they could float a small third floor up by the top level of windows, above the mezzanine portion of the building that's not going to take up the entire space. See drawing of mezzanine (w/out office space above) and the interior on my page: link

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1300 4TH ST SE 1001   
02/22/21 
AP BOWER RETAIL LLC / null
E2104231 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1346 4TH ST SE APT 1M   
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null / NA NA NA
EHOP21945129 / HOME OCCUPATION
1331 4TH ST SE R-2   
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FC 1331 LLC / FC 1331 LLC
BP2101814 / POST CARD
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CAPITOL HILL RACQUET CLUB / NA; VICTORIA STEINHOFF
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Installation of up to six (6) 3-inch diameter direct-push Geoprobe borings to depths of up to 30 feet below grade as part of an environmental assessment.
555 L ST SE   
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UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / RENNE WELL; RICK HARLAN SCHNEIDER
B2102004 / CONSTRUCTION
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861 NEW JERSEY AVE SE 20003   
02/23/21 
809-853 NEW JERSEY AVE ACQUISITION LLC / SUSANA VAZQUEZ
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809 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
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GREYSTAR GP LLC 809-853 NEW JERSEY AVENUE ACQUISITION LLC / null
E2103926 / SUPPLEMENTAL
853 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
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GREYSTAR GP LLC / null
E2103924 / SUPPLEMENTAL
861 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
02/05/21 
GS CSX HOTEL OWNER LLC / null
E2103762 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1275 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
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FC 1275 NJ LLC / null
E2103662 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
02/11/21 
FC 1275 NJ LLC / null
P2103445 / SUPPLEMENTAL
848 SOUTH CAPITOL ST SE   
02/16/21 
CXS TRANSPORTATION INC / VICTORIA STEINHOFF; TBD
SB2100111 / CONSTRUCTION
Installation of up to six (6) 3-inch diameter direct-push Geoprobe borings to depths of up to 30 feet below grade as part of an environmental assessment.
AH = After Hours; B = Alteration & Repair; D = Demolition; E = Electrical; FB = Boiler; M = Mechanical; P = Plumbing and Gas; PC = Post Card; R = Raze; SG = Sign; TL = Tenant Layout; TN = Tent; RW = Retaining Wall;

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